Blue Jackets 3 – Blues 2 (O/T)

January 31, 2010

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So, the Blues got a point.  Which, against a team like the Blue Jackets, simply is not good enough.    Once again, the Blues are having issues scoring goals – and yes, Mathieu Garon for the Blue Jackets had an excellent game – but how far do the Blues expect to progress when they don’t have an all out true sniper on the team?    You cannot really class Boyes as a sniper.  Not anymore.  Yes, he had a one timer excellently saved by Garon but he also missed a practically open net from about 10 feet away.

Of course, there were stupid and amazingly incompetent decisions by the officials – something we Blues fans have now come to expect.  I hope that somewhere something is being said about this.    On the bright side, the Blues scored two powerplay goals – on the downside we’ve had hardly any powerplay opportunities over the last few games as no Blue seems to be drawing penalties.

The Blues outshot the Blue Jackets 27-19, despite the fact that they were outshot 9-3 in the second period.   Mason made some great saves but he was hung out to dry on the Blue Jackets winning overtime goal.  Paul Kariya has to hold his hands up to that one.  He stopped tracking back with the Blue Jackets, Kris Russell, and let him skate around him for a clear shot on goal.

I’m not sure where the Blues go from here – their upcoming schedule is a killer.  To add more concern, one of the Blues hottest offensive players at the moment, Alex Steen, did not come out for the third period after suffering a “lower body injury”.   No word yet on how serious it is.  The Blues can still make the playoffs – but they need to play a lot better than they have been.

The Blues don’t play now until Wednesday – a well deserved rest after playing 11 games in 19 days.  Some time for them to think and heal.  And some time for management to consider the situation.  It’s going to be interesting to see how long they wait before deciding to explore the trade option.

Anyway, your game reports:

It’s not all doom and gloom – there are bright spots.  The play of Oshie for one – Andy McDonald for another.  Eric Brewer also had another very solid night – picking up another assist.  There’s still hope…


Blues 2 – Oilers 1

January 29, 2010

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Not a bad overall result for the Blues short Canadian road trip – 4 points out of a possible 6.  Beating the Oilers last night was essential.  It kept the Blues only 4 points out of a playoff spot and they leapfrogged over the Ducks to grab 12th place in the Conference.

It certainly wasn’t a classic game by any means – the Blues did just enough to win and that could possibly have been the game plan all along.  After all, the Blues have games against very tough opponents in the next few games.  The Oilers have lost 19 out of their last 20 games – they’ll have to start winning eventually … thankfully it wasn’t to happen against the Blues.  Both teams had their chances – and honestly the game could have gone either way.

The Oilers scored first – Dustin Penner with his 22nd goal of the season in the second period – but the Blues were level less than 20 seconds later.   Good work from Andy McDonald as he skated behind the Oilers net and passed the puck up to Brewer on the point.  Brewer just hit a beautiful one timer through traffic and into the net.   Later in the period, David Backes managed to hit the crossbar.

Alex Steen got the game winner for the Blues in the third period – play was broken up in the Blues zone and Sydor passed the puck to Steen.  Steen raced up ice and scored in the corner of the net.  The Oilers pulled their goalie late on but simply couldn’t find a way past Chris Mason.  An essential win for the Blues – and here are your game reports:

As mentioned previously, the Blues needed these two points – because their upcoming games include Columbus, Chicago (twice), San Jose, Colorado, Detroit and Washington.  Very tough.

Blues 2 – Canucks 3

January 28, 2010

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So, donkey time again in Vancouver. I’m not talking about the Blues players – I’m talking about the officiating. It was dreadful. Blatant penalties that would have put the Blues on the powerplay went uncalled whereas the officials called the most incomprehensible penalties against the Blues. The so-called penalty that led to the game winning powerplay goal was a case in point. One of the Sedins got a little tap on his hand by Paul Kariya’s stick – something that happens numerous times in every game. However…Sedin the Drama Queen reacted as though someone had just shot his hand off – skating away whilst dramatically shaking the OTHER hand. The official who was merely 6 feet away didn’t call the penalty. The official who was about 70 feet away, obscured by players, DID call the penalty. Utterly ridiculous. Fans attend and watch games to see the players – they don’t go to watch fools in striped shirts trying to make a name for themselves. Officials should not be the ones to decide the outcome of the game – that’s up to the players. When the officiating is THIS bad, it honestly makes you wonder why you bother. The bad call on Kariya wasn’t the only one. David Perron also got called for high sticking – after another dramatic performance by a Canuck who deserved an Emmy for the high quality of his acting. The Canucks recently complained about a referee – is that why so many calls went their way?

Rant over – back to the game itself. The Blues didn’t play brilliantly – but they certainly deserved an OT point which they didn’t get due to referee incompetence. It all keeps coming back to the refs, doesn’t it? Anyway, Backes returned – and his pass led to Oshie’s tying goal. The trouble was that the Blues reverted at stages to their “turnover” mentality – David Perron coughing up the puck which led to the first Canuck goal. If, however, you watch that goal again…you’ll see that Perron got a nasty slash across the hand which caused him to give up the puck. Guess those wonderful officials missed another one.

Anyway, here are your game reports – from people who can describe it all much better (and in a less ranty way) than I can:

It’s the Oilers tonight – and the Blues really have to beat the Western Conference’s bottom dwelling team.  Look for Chris Mason to get the start tonight.

Eric Brewer – Oh Captain, My Captain

January 27, 2010

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Eric Brewer is very similar to Cam Janssen – in one respect.  Mention either name and you’ll get an instant polarisation of opinion.  Fans will either leap to their defence or fall over themselves to get the first insults in.   Eric Brewer is the Blues fans current whipping boy: he gets insulted on forums, booed when on the ice and yet, this is the man who is the Captain of the St Louis Blues.  You would think there’d be a little more respect for the man who wears the “C” on his chest.  So, time for a closer look at our enigmatic and quiet Captain and see if we can figure a few things out.

Eric Brewer’s NHL career started after being drafted 5th overall in 1997 by the New York Islanders – behind such luminaries as Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo.  He signed officially with the Islanders in 1998 – on an entry level contract with signing bonus.  Brewer was very highly regarded and played 63 games in his rookie season – amassing eleven points, 32 penalty minutes and 63 shots.   The following season saw Brewer demoted to the AHL after playing only three games for the Islanders.  Brewer was with the Lowell Lock Monsters for two weeks until he was recalled to the Islanders.  After a further 26 games with the Islanders – where he managed two assists – Brewer was demoted once again…this time for the remainder of the season.  However, it was at this stage that the first of Brewer’s “injury jinxes” hit and he missed over two months with a sprained knee.
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Blues 2 – Flames 0

January 26, 2010

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Amazing, isn’t it? After losing to the Blue Jackets, Senators and Ducks in the last week or so, some sections of the online Blues world were convinced that the sky was falling: trades, benchings, demotions were all proposed. Yet, here we are. Last night’s win against the Flames means that, despite the trials and tribulations of this season, the Blues are currently only 4 points from a playoff position. Makes you kind of yearn for the position the Blues might have been in had they played more up to expectations. But there’s no point dwelling on “might have beens”. Let’s look at what last night’s game showed us.

It showed us that the Blues are capable of holding a lead in the third period – thanks to some superlative saves from Ty Conklin. Mason and Conklin work well together – there seems to be no jealousy, no attitude – they both seem to genuinely want what’s best for the team.

The game also showed us Kariya’s speed; Tkachuk’s determination, David Perron’s finishing ability and much more besides. Cam Janssen had two fights – one against the heavyweight Brian McGratton and another against Brandon Prust. Rather wonderfully, even though McGratton had the reach and size advantage over Janssen, he didn’t back down – even waving the linesmen away. Things definitely happen when Cam plays!

The Blues goals were scored by Patrik Berglund – his 7th of the season and first goal in 13 games. It might have been scrappy – going in off a skate – but who cares? Hopefully, this can be the start of good things for Mr Berglund. David Perron netted the Blues second of the game and his 15th of the season following good work from Tkachuk, Sydor and McDonald.

Now – your game reports:

The Blues continue their Canadian road trip on ‘Wednesday against the Canucks.  In the meantime, check out last night’s game highlights:

Blues recall Tyson Strachan

January 24, 2010

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The Blues have today recalled defenseman Tyson Strachan from the Peoria Rivermen. Carlo Colaiacovo has been placed on IR – retroactive to 21 January – with a lower body injury.

Tyson Strachan has played in 31 games for the Rivermen this season with 2 goals and 12 assists – Strachan also has 48 penalty minutes. He has played 6 games for the Blues this season – collecting 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes.

David Backes is skating again and both he and Colaiacovo will accompany the team on the upcoming road trip to Western Canada.

Sources: Andy Strickland and Peoria Rivermen

Ducks 4 – Blues 3 (S/O)

January 24, 2010

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For the third time this season, the Blues completely threw away a three goal lead on home ice.  And in the third period.  What is it with the Blues mental meltdowns in the final twenty minutes?  Andy Murray failed to solve the problem – let’s hope Davis Payne finds the answer.  Payne is running out of time to do it though as, with only securing one point last night, the Blues are falling further behind in the standings.

The Blues started well – hustling and playing hard.  They had a good first period with the shot count tied at 6 each and the teams went in with a tied 0-0 scoreline.   The second period was just as even – the only difference being that, despite the Ducks outshooting them 11-10, the Blues managed to score two goals.  Andy McDonald picked up his 16th goal of the season with a slapshot at the beginning of the period and BJ Crombeen got his 4th of the season at the 14 minute mark.

When TJ Oshie scored three minutes into the third period, Blues fans can be forgiven for breathing a bit easier.   However, a mistake by Barret Jackman a couple of minutes later, led to Scott Niedermeyer bringing the Ducks back into the game by scoring past Chris Mason.  From that moment on, it was all Ducks.  The Blues retreated and, instead of taking the game to the Ducks and going on the offensive, they sat back and let the Ducks walk all over them.  The Blues stopped doing what had been so successful in the first two periods – initiating offense – and instead just reacted to what the Ducks were doing.   Bobby Ryan scored two and tied the game with 30 seconds remaining.  The Blues were outshot 17-3 in the final period.  Poor Chris Mason must have wondered when the bombardment would stop.

With no score in overtime, the game went to a shootout – finally being decided in round 7 when James Wisniewski scored to give the game to the Ducks.  It should never have got to that stage.  The Blues are not going to advance unless they learn how to close out games.  They have no killer instinct – and if the opposing team scores on them, they go into meltdown mode.  Just take a look at the shot count from last night – the Blues were outshot 37-21 yet it was pretty even up until the final period.  That doesn’t tell the whole story – the Ducks also missed with 19 shots and had 17 more blocked.  Maybe other teams can afford to sit back once they go three goals up – the Blues quite plainly cannot.

Anyway – your game reports:

Things aren’t ALL depressing though – the Blues have a new tv commercial.  Check it out on the Blues site